I must admit that I, like so many others, had not read Andy Olmsted’s writings until today. A blogging soldier in the US Army, he left a final entry, to be posted in the event of his death. Since I have read it, I am sure you can gather he has given “that last full measure of devotion.”
The entry is thoughtful, funny, and touching. One would find it hard to read this post, regardless of perspectives on the military and the war in Iraq, and not finish without a tear in the eye, and a warm spot in their heart for the American Fighting Man.
Our soldiers deserve our respect, and honor, not only in their deaths, but in their lives as well.
Please–take the time to read his post. You will be changed.
And, while he didn’t want his death to be politicized, I feel it remains only proper that we remember him with the closing words of Abraham Lincoln in Gettysburg:
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
President Abraham Lincoln